With motorways being limited in capacity and buses – having the same set of wheels and bound by the same rules of gravity as cars – tend to clog the roads, they tend to become nuisances to the daily commute of the average motorist. A concept from China could change the way we eventually see buses and public transport – by allowing them to take the higher ground.
The vehicle in question in the video is not exactly what you would call a “bus”, perhaps it’s more of a ground-covering ferry of sorts. Nonetheless, the idea behind the “Straddling Bus” is to allow a sizeable amount of people to be transported while allowing cars to pass underneath it. With its wheels being on opposite ends of the road, the Straddling Bus opens two lanes worth of road and 7 feet of clearance for cars to pass underneath.
In order for passengers to ride and alight from the Straddling Bus, special platforms in the bus stations will allow passengers to be elevated to the level of the bus. Each Straddling Bus is capable of seating 1,400 individuals in a well-lit subway train-like environment.
Concerns for driver visibility with this new vehicle may arise, but it appears the driver will be positioned at ground-level for improved visibility and perception on the road. Currently there is a working scale model of the Straddling Bus at the International High-Tech Expo in Beijing, with a feasibility test scheduled as close as July in a Chinese city.
While it is certainly an odd solution, this could be a welcome answer to the increasing congestion of traffic in major cities around the globe.